Following the government’s instructions to appear in person at the House of Commons today, and to avoid public transport, I decided to try cycling to Parliament for the first time ever. It took me just over an hour to cycle from my home to Parliament, and it was much easier than I thought it would be. If you are also considering a return to work, I would really encourage you to consider cycling, if you are able, especially now that Richmond Park is open to commuter cyclists again.
Voting in Parliament can now only take place in person, so I queued round the Parliamentary estate for a total of an hour and a half to oppose the Government’s motion to prevent digital participation. There are drawbacks to online participation, but it’s a better option than socially distancing in Parliament. Too many MPs, and their constituents, are excluded from participating at the current time.
In the chamber today I asked the Health Secretary a question about protecting people from phone scammers pretending to be government test and trace workers. He replied that tracers would never do any of the following things:
Ask for your financial information
Ask for your medical information
Reveal anyone else's medical information
Ask you to pay for anything
If anyone calls you and does any of the above they are not working for the government and you should report them online. See the Met Police's information page about reporting scams here: https://www.met.police.uk/ro/report/fo/fraud/
CARERS WEEK 2020
More than 6.5 million people serve as unpaid carers in the UK, providing daily care to sick and disabled relatives. Many of those providing this care were under intense pressure before the coronavirus outbreak began. Now they are doing even more, helping our health and social care services cope during the coronavirus pandemic. Carers Week is a reminder to give them the recognition and support they deserve. To find out how to participate go to: https://www.carersweek.org
CYCLING IN RICHMOND PARK
Richmond Park is once again open to cyclists, but only Monday to Friday before 10am and after 4pm,
unless you are a key worker going to work, attending a medical appointment, or accompanying a child aged twelve or under.
Please note that some of the routes that were previously open to cyclists on the south side of the park (red routes in map above) are not open for cycling at the moment.
If you are going to cycle through the park, please remember that pedestrians have priority in the park. Please observe the 20mph speed limit everywhere in the park and slow down further at entrances and junctions.
Royal Parks has written to say that they will continue to police the park and ask everyone to behave with consideration towards others while in the park. They have also had an increase in litter during the lockdown and would appreciate it if people would take greater care to leave nothing behind them when they leave the park.
ADVICE FROM MET POLICE SOUTHWEST LONDON
SW London Borough Commander Sally Benatar has asked me to pass on the updated advice in this letter regarding child protection, fraud, antisocial behaviour and other current issues in the area. Please have a look:
BUSINESS RESILIENCE TOOLKIT FROM CIMA
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is offering a free ’business resilience in the COVID-19 world’ toolkit to help organisations steer through the short and long-term ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis. Drawing on the extensive experience and solid expertise of CIMA members, the toolkit provides three tools to plan and build business resilience. Here is the toolkit,.
COUNCIL ASKS FOR NO BONFIRES IN GARDENS AND NO BARBECUES IN THE PARKS
Richmond Council is urging residents to avoid having bonfires in their gardens and not to light barbecues in borough parks. Since lockdown began, the Council has had a 400% increase in the number of complaints regarding smoke caused by bonfires. Coronavirus affects the respiratory system, and smoke from bonfires can make symptoms worse for those battling the virus at home. People who are self-isolating or shielding cannot leave their homes and rely on fresh air from open windows. Please dispose of your garden waste by composting or using the Garden Waste collection service. It is also against local bylaws to light fires or use barbecues in any of the borough's parks and open spaces.
FREE VIRTUAL INFORMATION SESSION FOR LOCAL EU CITIZENS
A free online event for EU citizens living, working or studying in the borough will be held on 16 June at 2.30pm. Attendees will get updates on the latest Brexit developments and find out what steps they need to take to protect their future in the UK. The event will be delivered by Citizens Advice Richmond as part of a package of support, funded by the Council, aimed at enabling EU residents to get impartial, expert advice.
The deadline for EU citizens to apply for settled status is: 30 June 2021. Settled status or pre-settled status will ensure your continued right to stay in the United Kingdom and access to your healthcare, benefits and pensions. All details and eligibility can be found at www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
To register for the event, go to: www.eventbrite.com/e/public-information-for-eu-nationals-tickets-106969855718
COUNCIL TO COMMISSION NEW DEMENTIA HOME IN SURBITON
The recommendation to commission an external provider to operate the new dementia home in Surbiton was unanimously approved by the council’s Response and Recovery Committee. Three operating options were carefully considered amid new and emerging changes in the care market: establishing a company (setting up a wholly owned local authority trading company to operate the home), delivering the service in-house or commissioning an external provider. The Council decided to commission a high-quality external provider to operate the home. Construction of a new 80 bed dementia nursing home in Brown's Road, Surbiton is now underway, with completion expected in July 2021. The new state of the art home will provide high-quality nursing care to some of our most vulnerable residents and make a vital contribution to meeting the rising demand for health and care services in Kingston. For the latest updates on the new dementia home visit: www.kingston.gov.uk/dementiahome.